I know, I know… easier said than done. And to be honest, I struggle with prioritizing myself every day.
As women, generally speaking, it seems like taking care of others is ingrained in our psyche. It gets even worse when we have children! I know I feel guilty when I go get a simple pedicure. Crazy right?! However, I’m getting to that place where I give myself permission to take care of me.
When you listen to the safety instructions on a flight, you’re always instructed to put on your oxygen mask first then help the person next to you. That’s the same concept we should apply in our everyday lives. It’s hard, I know. I never really paid attention to those instructions until I started flying with my daughter. She was two months old when we took her on her first flight. When that part of the safety instructions played, I looked at her then my husband and I got a panic attack. My first thought was, “these people are out of their minds to think I’m going to let my baby suffocate while I put my mask on!” But when I really thought about it some more, it makes perfect sense. If I don’t take care of myself, how can I take care of her?
Now, I am not saying to drop all your responsibilities and run wild. What I’ve learned, or rather what I’m learning is that it all takes planning. Put YOU in your calendar. Take some time, probably weekly, to look ahead and write down what your goals are for the week. What’s on your “must do” and your “would like to do” lists. Think about the things that bring you peace, things that make you feel relaxed, things that bring you joy. Jot those down and carve in time for you. Start off by doing (or not doing) something at least once a week. For example, I enjoy cooking and plating. So, I set aside time to create new recipes, cook and plate. That whole process takes me to a peaceful space where I also get my creative juices flowing. Another form of selfcare that I practice, is simply waking up earlier than the others in my household so that I can sit in silence with my thoughts.
It takes a village might sound cliché, but it is the truth! I am ever so thankful that my husband is supportive of my goals and he sees the importance of selfcare. I also have my mom who is a huge part of my village. Line up your support team to help you accomplish your goals. That may comprise of family or friends who have become family. Trust me, you need the help and don’t feel bad for needing others.
One more thing, if you happen to be dead tired when your scheduled “me time” rolls around, and you’re no longer in the mood to do what you planned, don’t beat yourself up. It’s ok to change your mind too. Self-care should not be a chore, nor should it be an additional stressor. It should be a time for you to relax, and enjoy your peace!